Part of our internship program involves each intern writing a weekly blog about a particular topic they’ve learned or discovered. Today, Michael Chettleburgh, interning with us this summer from Indiana University, has tackled the blog:
With our time this summer quickly wrapping up at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, I thought I’d take this time to reflect on how the last 5 weeks at the clubs have been. The time has flown by for both us and the hundreds of kids we’ve been getting on the bikes each week. Although we know school programs are coming quickly, we will all be sad to have our last days with the Boys & Girls Clubs.
From week one we saw a large age range of kids as well as a large range of ability levels. Many kids had been on our bikes before through our school programs, many had never been on our bikes, and some didn’t even know how to ride a bike. Week one was a big learning curve for all of us as we spent time figuring out what worked best with each group of kids at each location. We had entry surveys for each of the kids at each location to learn a bit about their bicycling background and experience. There was a lot of helping and teaching the kids how to pedal the bikes, mostly for the younger age groups, but for some of the older ones as well that were not familiar with the bicycle as well.
Week two was spent getting the kids feeling more confident on the bikes and getting them to ride a bit further. We had a lot more questions about Nine13sports and why we had them riding bikes. The curiosity of the kids grew with their bicycling ability. The kids already started showing a genuine excitement for riding the bikes and excitement for the competition and fun of riding with their friends.
By weeks three and four the kids had the routine with the bikes set and they came knowing what to expect. We started hearing the kids getting excited about riding the bikes and had kids running to make sure they got on their favorite bike. Each week we gave them a bit longer or more course to ride to give them more time on the bikes.
During the last week of programming at the Boys and Girls Clubs we had the kids filling out exit surveys to see how their bicycling habits have changed in the time we’ve been with them. Overall the final week here was bittersweet. The kids were happy to see us and ride our bikes, but many were sad that we won’t be back again this summer. Luckily for many of the kids we are scheduled to be at their schools later this school year giving them the chance to get on the bikes yet again!